Posted by David on August 03, 2001 at 14:27:25:
I tucked Linda into bed at about 11:00 P.M. on December 22, 1998. As was my habit back then, I left to drink a beer and watch a little TV. I finished both and started waking down the hall. The sound of the girls' TV's could be heard coming from their rooms... something was missing. Linda was under a new medication that sedated her at bedtime. It also made her respiration heavy and a somewhat feminine snore could be heard when she slept. As I neared the bedroom, the absence of her breathing startled me... the horrid realization shocked me like some bogie man had jumped out from behind the partially closed door. I yelled for the girls to call 911, and my youngest, Sarah, and I began CPR. I am searching for the words that would describe the feeling I got when I placed my head to her chest... and heard nothing. The odd sensation that I cannot explain fully still haunts me. I had placed my head, nestled it there a thousand times and had taken the sound for granted... no, that is not true. I always was in awe of the thunderous rush of blood surging... demanding to march where it will. It was gone... empty... hollow. She was warm... it was not right... this does not compute! The world spun, the ground shook... the quake was my world collapsing.
Her heart had simply stopped. No massive heart attack. No stroke... No noise... just the sound of wailing... from my daughters... from a stranger that stood over his loved one. I was detached... looking on...strangely distant, watching this man shake uncontrollably... dressed in gym shorts... and his wife's housecoat.
I revisit this scene... daily at first... now, when I think that I am losing the memory... perhaps to touch the scar to see if it is healed.
I still love her so much. I wish for her back... every... single... day. I would sell my soul for hers to return. I would take her place. I would feel torture unspeakable to have her here. And yet...
Her pain is over. Her walk is done. She gave more than any one woman could to a husband who took her for granted. I did not deserve to be loved as she did me. She is gone. I cannot touch her. I can hold her. I cannot hear her voice. I listen to her words.
I am... I AM. I scream to awaken me.
That night is forever... but it is only one in a wave of days on a sea of time. My emotions are but a tear in the ocean... too small to be noticed, to insignificant. I am humbled for I know others have witnessed greater tragedy, lived through horror that bad dreams and B-movies are made of. It was my hill to climb. Funny, she lives with me more now... in my thoughts... driving my life. I am more hers than before.
I will love again! That is a demand to God for Him to fulfill. It is a challenge to me. I love you, Linda. I can hear others say that to their loved ones gone... from way over here. It echoes and is repeated, passed on... a bucket brigade of injured souls pass this truth though, they handing it off to the next ear that listens... tuned to that heart-station. It is relayed the distance between...until... as I sit typing tear soaked words on a faceless screen, I feel those words, "I love you". They are spoken out loud by the messenger, the marathon runner... from a distant mouth to my ear. Souls carried the words. They know of our love for each of them. They are real because the feelings are still alive. She will kiss me. I will kiss her... then she will leave... She will allow privacy to the joined lips... She will let them grow... She will not interfere or ask Her way... She will leave to slumber... to rest in a peace deserved. I will join Her someday. Be mixed with Her ash to slumber together for eternity.
I feel their tear move down their cheeks. I taste the salt of its birth. My chest is pierced. I know their pain, as they do mine. We comfort, a thousand miles apart with arms already there. There is a song on country radio by Lonestar called "I'm already there". Those we lost are as close as our hearts. They are already, forever, there.
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